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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 12. September 20, 1951

Elusive Equity

Elusive Equity

So neared its end a memorable 45 minutes with the man who adorns the office of virtual head of the British and Dominion Judiciary, but whose appointment, unlike that of any other member of that Judiciary, is a political one. Asked earlier if the political nature of his appointment ever embarrassed him, he replied that it could be avoided by common sense—that is, he does not sit on cases having a political flavour—for instance he did not take part in the Australian Banking case. Two things, however, he does regret. One is that on his retirement or resignation or (more important) on the collapse of his political party, the Chancellor is not allowed to return to practice at the bar. Apparently one of his predecessors. Viscount Haldane, had the same regret but no pulling of strings was successful in overcoming the rule. What was more, he was allowed to retain his status of "King's Counsel," but was not in actual fact allowed to be a counsel at all. It was quite possible, he didn't mind saying, for him to earn far more in practice than he receives now (£10,000 p.a.). The other regret is as much Lady Jowitt's as his, and that is that although he site on appeals from the Scottish Courts and although Lady Jowitt is of Scots descent, he is called the Lord Chancellor of England.

One further observation the writer cannot refrain from recording. Earlier Lord Chancellors, as law students will know, were the original fountain-head of that elusive body of rules known as Equity and administered by that home of good conscience the Court of Chancery, and as those unfortunate gentlemen who mark exam, papers in law subjects are no doubt informed many times each year, Equity has been said to vary with the length of the Chancellor's foot. Rest assured then that the Courts of Equity are today ready to beam on all who there seek remedy and relief, for this Lord High Chancellor, this Viscount Jowitt of Stevenage, this erudite lawyer, this quietly shrewd and humorous legislator, cabinet minister, judge, mediator, planner and lover of the arts, is, in more ways than one, a truly great man—from the feet up.

A. G. Keesing.